New festival site worth $40m

THE economic benefit of the proposed North Byron Parklands festival site to the Northern Rivers is estimated to be about $40 million when running at full capacity.

The author of the economic impact assessment for the proposal has confirmed that the figure of $192.6 million, quoted in The Northern Star on Monday from the North Byron Parklands’ website, is in fact the estimated national flow-on effect through the whole economy, rather than the annual benefit to the Byron Shire.

The $40 million figure was reached by adding the site’s estimated income to its expenditure and visitor’s expenditure.

The economic impact assessment estimates income at $12.3m in the first year, increasing to $27.4m in the fifth year.

Expenditure is estimated at about $900,000 over the five years, while visitors’ expenditure is estimated as about $9m in the first year and $12.6m in the fifth.

All together, the economic benefit to the region is estimated at $25m in the first year, increasing to $40m in the fifth year, when running at full capacity.

Due to the scale of the development, the NSW Department of Planning is managing the application and is accepting submissions on the proposal from the public and interested parties.

Organisers believe they have the community’s support and have called on locals to get behind them.

At the same time, Byron Shire Council has moved to limit the number of major festivals in the shire to two a year, setting the scene for a showdown between the council and the Department of Planning.

The council has already given consent to Bluesfest until 2021.



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